Today I’d like to explore the concept of creativity, and how it shapes and enriches our lives to access our own individual wells of creativity.
What is “creativity?” The typical colloquial definitions of creativity involve:
- Producing or bringing about something partly or wholly new
- Investing an existing object with new properties or characteristics
- Imagining new possibilities that were not conceived of before
- Seeing or performing something in a manner different from what was thought possible
To me, creativity represents expressiveness, originality, productivity, and possibility–in life and of the human spirit.
Personally, there are three forms of creative expression that I pushed underground for many years: singing, tennis, and writing. As a young adult, I was accomplished at each of these, but for the next 25 years I let these endeavors go unnourished and hidden as I was hacking my way through life, attempting to balance my professional wants with my desires and goals of nurturing my family.
What I’ve realized is that we cannot “find ourselves,” or achieve a joyful, meaningful and fulfilling professional or personal life if we force these beautiful creative pieces of ourselves to go underground. These creative lifelines are wanting and needing to be integrated, recognized, and honored. Pushing them out of our view only prolongs our dissatisfaction with our lives, and keeps our unique contribution hidden from ourselves, others, and the world.
Recently, I’ve attended musical concerts, theatrical and dance performances, and art exhibits of my children, and have been astonished once again at the depth and breadth of creative genius that young children reveal. These little beings are completely filled with light, love, uniqueness, joy, and creativity, and they know it! They shine with unabashed self-love. In my observations as a therapist, coach and parent, I’ve seen this self-appreciation flow until children reach the pre-teen years when they begin to hear and incorporate messages that beat down their expressiveness and self-acceptance.
These societal and cultural messages insidiously imply that it is unseemly or worse to brag, shine, and express the wonder of ourselves.
Has your creative expression been allowed to flow? Are you supporting your creative talents as fully as possible?
To access your creative well more deeply, I’d like to offer some key questions to ask yourself:
- What are my creative passions?
- What creative endeavors give me great joy, make my heart sing, and allow me to feel in the flow, experiencing the passing of time as a blink?
- Am I focusing on my creative gifts? If not, what holds me back from doing so?”
Your creative gifts are not yours by accident. You were meant to have these gifts, and express these sparks of creativity for the betterment and enrichment of your life and others.
Now is the time to access your creative well again.
Here are a few tips to reaching within and bringing forth the creative flow that is waiting to be tapped:
1. Identify the creative talent that you wish to nurture in yourself, and begin today to make it a priority.
2. Make a list of all the reasons that have held you back from expressing your creative gift(s). Most of these reasons will most likely revolve around fear of exposing or embarrassing yourself, lack of time, and lack of energy and focus. Honor your fears, then move forward despite them.
3. Commit to finding a forum this month for beginning to express your creativity (a new class, clinic, support group, online course, etc.)
4. Find a mentor, friend, or coach who can help you gain even deeper access to your creativity. Ask him/her to assist you on your path to your goals and dreams of expression.
5. Come forward with your creative genius. Tell all your family, friends and colleagues what you intend to do. If they laugh or diminish your efforts, so be it. That’s their diminishment coming through. Shine the light on your creative gifts, and don’t allow them to be hidden any longer.
As for me, I am now singing, writing, and playing tennis again, and loving it! Accessing my expressiveness through these activities has been transformational, and reminded me again of what I intuitively knew was true when I was a child: each of us is special, unique, gifted, and wonderful, and sharing our creative gifts is what makes our lives wondrous.
Please write and tell us about your creative gifts, and how you have brought them forward this month.
Enjoy and honor your gifts!